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Why the Phenom II X3 720 BE is the best AMD processor ever.

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April 5, 2009 1:54:47 PM

There are multiple reasons why this processor is better than any other. First, I will address the most obvious ones:

Price: Right now, the most expensive AMD CPU is the AM2+ 940 Black Edition. The X3 720 is considerably cheaper however.
Socket: AM3 is AMD's newest socket. It has DDR3 capabilities, and is compatible with older AM2(+) motherboards, as well as the newest AM3's.

As well as this however, the performance of a 720 BE is also much better, after some very easy tweaking.
First of all, both CPU's have a 45nm manufacturing process. They also both feature a 6MB cache. Another great feature is that they both have unlocked multipliers, as well as an FSB speed of 2000Mhz. An advantage of the 720 is that it draws out 30W less, and the stock voltage is slightly lower. Having said that, the max. temperature of a 720 is °C higher than a 940.

So is it about the 940 that make the price a lot higher? Two things:

Higher clock speed.
Quad-Core technology.

The 720 is clocked 200Mhz lower than a 940 (2.8Ghz and 3.00Ghz respectivly (or however you spell it)). However, 200Mhz isn't a huge difference, and the 720 can be overclocked up to those speeds no problem.
But what about the fact that the 720 only has 3 cores? Well, as many of you may know, it doesn't; it has 4. AMD simply made the processor, then disabled on of the cores, and lowered the price. The fourth core can be enabled easily in the BIOS.


There you go. I'm sure some of you will have something to say about that, and please do.
a c 850 à CPUs
a c 330 À AMD
April 5, 2009 1:59:30 PM

It is not as good as the 940 but the price is right.
April 5, 2009 2:03:42 PM

How is not as good? The specs are the same.
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a c 330 À AMD
April 5, 2009 2:13:41 PM

not all 720 can be unlocked to X4 only some MB allow it to be unlocked.
April 5, 2009 2:18:37 PM

Well your certainly crazy, Ill give you that...

crazyguy_60 said:
There are multiple reasons why this processor is better than any other. First, I will address the most obvious ones:

Price: Right now, the most expensive AMD CPU is the AM2+ 940 Black Edition. The X3 720 is considerably cheaper however.
Socket: AM3 is AMD's newest socket. It has DDR3 capabilities, and is compatible with older AM2(+) motherboards, as well as the newest AM3's.


OK, you get the first one mostly right.

crazyguy_60 said:
As well as this however, the performance of a 720 BE is also much better, after some very easy tweaking.
First of all, both CPU's have a 45nm manufacturing process. They also both feature a 6MB cache. Another great feature is that they both have unlocked multipliers, as well as an FSB speed of 2000Mhz. An advantage of the 720 is that it draws out 30W less, and the stock voltage is slightly lower. Having said that, the max. temperature of a 720 is °C higher than a 940.

So is it about the 940 that make the price a lot higher? Two things:

Higher clock speed.
Quad-Core technology.

The 720 is clocked 200Mhz lower than a 940 (2.8Ghz and 3.00Ghz respectivly (or however you spell it)). However, 200Mhz isn't a huge difference, and the 720 can be overclocked up to those speeds no problem.
But what about the fact that the 720 only has 3 cores? Well, as many of you may know, it doesn't; it has 4. AMD simply made the processor, then disabled on of the cores, and lowered the price. The fourth core can be enabled easily in the BIOS.


There you go. I'm sure some of you will have something to say about that, and please do.


Now youve just gone off the rails. SOME 720s can be de-castrated into full quad cores, but not every one. If you get lucky, yes, super buy. If not, its just another tri-core.
April 5, 2009 2:19:45 PM

None of the processors truly have three cores.
April 5, 2009 2:20:54 PM

/facepalm

I suppose your also gonna tell me the Q6600 isnt a quad core...
April 5, 2009 2:36:54 PM

crazyguy_60 said:
None of the processors truly have three cores.


They all have 4 cores whith one laser etched out. This core sometimes can be enabled without causing any lasting problems but this is rare. 99% of all 720s can NOT be turned into quadcores and the time of availability of those that could has ended as AMD has taken action.
April 5, 2009 3:28:06 PM

Not true, the 360's cpu only has 3 core's.

@B-Unit, well all of intel's core 2 quad's are actual quad core's, they are 2 cpu's on the same chip.
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a b À AMD
April 5, 2009 3:50:26 PM

Personally I'd rather just buy a quad knowing I'll get a quad than purchase an X3 hoping to get a quad. Besides that fact I already own 780G motherboards so I can't unlock the hidden core even if I got a cpu capable of it.
April 5, 2009 8:23:28 PM

AMD stepped up the core cutting on the X3s recently so I wouldn't expect anyone to get one that can be unlocked.
April 5, 2009 10:18:00 PM

well i bought one and installed it on my gigabyte ud4h motherboard and it was bought about 5 days ago and its rock solid at 3.2 with all 4 unlocked, been gaming stable with amazing performance for the last few days, no crashes or instability, so i dont think that that 99% stat is completely in any way accurate.
April 5, 2009 10:49:37 PM

^^+1 for Just plain crazy.

Best processor ever= because it'
s better than the PII 940...?
News for ya: Q9650>PII 940 and the Q9650 is atleast a year old. Lay off on the BS it will help you in life :)  And incase the 940 is better than the Q9650 (because I didn't check, I'm just making a good assumption) Try PII 940 vs i7 920, I think i7 wins....
April 5, 2009 10:53:54 PM

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
well i bought one and installed it on my gigabyte ud4h motherboard and it was bought about 5 days ago and its rock solid at 3.2 with all 4 unlocked, been gaming stable with amazing performance for the last few days, no crashes or instability, so i dont think that that 99% stat is completely in any way accurate.


This is because the retailers are still selling older stock, in a month or so it will be a thing of the past sadly. I guess AMD felt it would hurt the X4 sales.
April 5, 2009 10:57:23 PM

brendano257 said:
^^+1 for Just plain crazy.

Best processor ever= because it'
s better than the PII 940...?
News for ya: Q9650>PII 940 and the Q9650 is atleast a year old. Lay off on the BS it will help you in life :)  And incase the 940 is better than the Q9650 (because I didn't check, I'm just making a good assumption) Try PII 940 vs i7 920, I think i7 wins....


Learn2Read, AMD doesnt make the Q9650 or the i7 920
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April 5, 2009 11:06:04 PM

AMD's Q6600 of processors?
April 5, 2009 11:13:19 PM

B-Unit said:
Learn2Read, AMD doesnt make the Q9650 or the i7 920


Wasn't going to say it... :lol: 
April 6, 2009 10:38:27 AM

hmm i would really like to see someone compare a Phenom II X4 940 vs Phenom II X3 720(4 Core) a nice little head to head comparison of them each on same hardware with a oc of 3.3 each.
April 6, 2009 2:18:37 PM

crazyguy_60 said:


The 720 is clocked 200Mhz lower than a 940 (2.8Ghz and 3.00Ghz respectivly (or however you spell it)). However, 200Mhz isn't a huge difference, and the 720 can be overclocked up to those speeds no problem.
But what about the fact that the 720 only has 3 cores? Well, as many of you may know, it doesn't; it has 4. AMD simply made the processor, then disabled on of the cores, and lowered the price. The fourth core can be enabled easily in the BIOS.


There you go. I'm sure some of you will have something to say about that, and please do.


Counting on getting a stable quad core out of a 720 is like taking your paycheck to the casino. It might work out and end up the same as it would if you put it in a bank account, but you certainly can't count on it.

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
well i bought one and installed it on my gigabyte ud4h motherboard and it was bought about 5 days ago and its rock solid at 3.2 with all 4 unlocked, been gaming stable with amazing performance for the last few days, no crashes or instability, so i dont think that that 99% stat is completely in any way accurate.


How does a sample size of 1 allow you to draw this conclusion? I'm not saying his number was accurate necessarily, but seriously.

brendano257 said:
^^+1 for Just plain crazy.

Best processor ever= because it'
s better than the PII 940...?
News for ya: Q9650>PII 940 and the Q9650 is atleast a year old. Lay off on the BS it will help you in life :)  And incase the 940 is better than the Q9650 (because I didn't check, I'm just making a good assumption) Try PII 940 vs i7 920, I think i7 wins....


The fact that you mention Intel processors is funny, but the part where you are condescending then admit that you didn't even check your facts is hilarious.
April 7, 2009 1:50:11 AM

Installed X3 720 about a week ago and its great. However, I can attest that not all will successfully unlock the fourth core. I was able to unlock it but the system wouldn't load Vista. Simply 'relocked' it and all was fine. I would be interested in a head to head comparison of the 940 and 720 (unlocked 4th).

I bought the 720 because of bang for the buck, not to have a quad, and because it is AM3. If the OP really wanted to prove why the 720 was better than the 940 he/she would have actually tested it. If you check the benchmarks that are out there, the 940 does win. However, a nicely overclocked 720 will hold its own (and I only paid $120 for mine with a mobo combo at the egg).
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April 7, 2009 8:06:04 AM

crazyguy_60 said:
How is not as good? The specs are the same.


Mainly because not all 720 X3s can be made into a X4. And not only that but also some mobos cannot do it as well as the newer mobos will have a BIOS updtae preventing it. So thats not a plus if you ask me because its not a gurantee.

The 940 X4 however is a guranteed quad core.
April 30, 2009 3:29:54 AM

check out comparisons between the 720 black edition and multiple intel quads and even i7s. the 720 BE matches in almost all categories and with overclocking even toped the i7 at times. its actually (for some reason) a stronger chip then amd's quad. www.overclockersclub.com take a look at their comparisons and u'll be shocked.
May 4, 2009 10:15:05 PM

You guys got it all wrong. The motherboard to use is ASROCK aod790gx. Bought the x3 720 twice, 2 months apart, and have successfully unlocked 4th core, with better results the second time. Clue: Memory is really important!!

I'll bet you can consistently unlock the 4th core if you have the right combo.
May 4, 2009 11:03:59 PM

To OP:

Don't come up here and pretend you're the expert when you know so little its embarrassing.

Case in point:
crazyguy_60 said:

But what about the fact that the 720 only has 3 cores? Well, as many of you may know, it doesn't; it has 4. AMD simply made the processor, then disabled on of the cores, and lowered the price. The fourth core can be enabled easily in the BIOS.


Like B-unit said, not every tri-core CPU can be "unlocked" to gain an extra core. They're branded as "tri-core" for a reason, and most likely because they didn't pass AMD's certification tests for a quad core. If you can get another core unlocked, great! If you can't, just remember that YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO

Because of the misinformation you, the OP, spread, some people actually buy into that crap.



On another hand, the best processor from AMD as of late is the Opteron 64 released back in 2003. It single-handedly propelled AMD from a second-rate chip manufacturer to a significant rival of Intel.
May 4, 2009 11:07:31 PM

lukeroberts said:
check out comparisons between the 720 black edition and multiple intel quads and even i7s. the 720 BE matches in almost all categories and with overclocking even toped the i7 at times. its actually (for some reason) a stronger chip then amd's quad. www.overclockersclub.com take a look at their comparisons and u'll be shocked.


It depends on the programs used as the benchmarks. If you use a bunch of games that can only take advantage of dual cores, a quad core would certainly not win in that category (due to increased latency). However, if you use programs that are truly multithreaded (encoding), then you'll see X3 720BE being thrown all the way back to the end.
May 4, 2009 11:56:02 PM

km5 said:
The motherboard to use is ASROCK aod790gx.


What BIOS are you using. I finally got bold enough to try the 1.4 and it seems fine.
May 5, 2009 12:30:04 AM

Its simply staggering to even think that this X3 or X4 unlocking talk is still floating around.
May 5, 2009 2:18:57 PM

I'm using 1.4 bios. People make it sound a lot harder than it really is. Try my combo and you'll be surprised at how easy it is to unlock and overclock.
May 5, 2009 2:30:30 PM

I take it you haven't clicked on the blue banner in my sig.
May 5, 2009 3:29:30 PM

i see it now. with the ocz reaper i was only able to get it stable with 800mhz ram settings. with mushkin, 1066 worked fine. have you tried taking it higher and what is your voltage? mine's running at 3.6 ghz daily with voltage around 1.48.
May 5, 2009 3:53:43 PM

1.425 is the upper spec and I'm running at 1.4. With the mismatched memory I'm happy to have what I got.
May 9, 2009 4:52:04 PM

lukeroberts said:
check out comparisons between the 720 black edition and multiple intel quads and even i7s. the 720 BE matches in almost all categories and with overclocking even toped the i7 at times. its actually (for some reason) a stronger chip then amd's quad. www.overclockersclub.com take a look at their comparisons and u'll be shocked.



sometimes its stronger then amd's quad because of the 6mb shared L3 cache. the quad shares 6mb across 4 cores and the 720 shares the same 6mb across only 3 cores. thats more cache per core, which in only certain specific apps that are dependent heavily on their cpu cache the 720 can actually come out over the amd quad.
On an interesting related note, have you noticed the games where the 720 scores almost exactly the same as the higher clocked and quad core 940? There are a few with benchies all over the net. Well the higher cache per core of the 720 helps make up for the slower clock speed here as well, yet most of those games arent quad core optimized. This gives the 720 an advantage to match a higher clock cpu.
But there are a always specialized cases where processors differ which gives advantages one way or the other. In my opinion, Amd should really up the cache on their phenom 2 quads, at least their future releases, it will really help.

But with all this takin into account the 940 is a better cpu then the 720. only in a very special few situations does the 720 have any advantage. But there is still no doubt the 940>720 from a performance stand point. Now value is another argument. But really a basis on value is in the eye of the beholder. Its nothing more then an opinion.
If some one was to unlock their 720 to four cores stable then they surely got a very lucky and do have bragging rights. They almost got a phenom 940 for the low low price of a 720. And thats just about it. That in no way can say that the 720 is better then the 940.

Now on a side note...I ordered myself a phenom 720, Asrock am3, and ocz 4g ddr3 like two days ago. I chose the 720 over the 940 not because the 720 was better then the 940 but because the 720 was a better option for me from a cost perspective. I am on a budget and the 720 is a GREAT option in my case, probably the best option. If i can magically unlock 4 cores then even better. But I chose the 720 for what it offers over what i can afford to pay.
So while the 720 may be the best cpu in my case, it absolutely never ever in any way can be better then the 940

May 12, 2009 10:28:09 PM

The 720 BE has three core. because of this, It has MORE cache. 2 mb per core rather than 1.5 for the quad core. look ta this site with bechmarks, compare quad core vs 3 core. the 3 core is more performant. For 170$ canadian it is for me one of the best deals out there.



http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=53&p2=83

May 14, 2009 6:22:14 AM

bostonstapler said:
The 720 BE has three core. because of this, It has MORE cache. 2 mb per core rather than 1.5 for the quad core. look ta this site with bechmarks, compare quad core vs 3 core. the 3 core is more performant. For 170$ canadian it is for me one of the best deals out there.



http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=53&p2=83


Thats what i said, without the numeric values. :
"Well the higher cache per core of the 720 helps make up for the slower clock speed" compaired to the 940
" This gives the 720 an advantage to match a higher clock cpu."
But these are only in certain specialized cases

But check this out! I got my 720 today and the asrock M3A790GXH/128M and enable ACC. Well it booted up all four cores so i went ahead and tried to installed the OS to run prime. Well when it got done I noticed it was only running at 1.25v with all 4 cores and was prime stable. So I thought i would lower the volts to 1.185 and try it and wow perfectly stable, then i wanted to see how it compares to the 940 so i changed the clock to 3Ghz and still stable @ 1.185. Thats crazy insane I think i will start a thread about it, I never seen a 940 run that low volts: here is the pick (i dont know why cpuz says AM2+ cause its am3)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38437019@N08/3530565130/si...
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May 14, 2009 7:46:58 AM

Yet another - Ive got a AMD tri core processor fanboi rant.. Im not saying its not a bad chip op but your trying to raise the titanic with that one with nothing but a bent spoon, a rubber ( eraser ) and a inflatable duck called Peter.


Me personally feel the the Q6600 was the best processor in its time released as it had so much over clocking headroom and on top of that it still beat the new phenoms that came in to "catch up with it"... Still a worthy processor now and will run anything thrown at it and its been out for over a year and a half..

you could get 3GHZ no problem on air with stock hsf and if you had a decent hsf you could get 3.3.

not bad for an "old timer"

should be marked as a legend in the computing world and im not being a fanboi / boy what ever spotty kids prefer with no or little femail contact -

im being factual

But as for it being AMD's best chip ever - no for its time the AMD-64 was better in every way than intels offerings and they knew how to charge for it.
May 14, 2009 10:42:33 PM

1935715,36,140628 said:



should be marked as a legend in the computing world and im not being a fanboi / boy what ever spotty kids prefer with no or little femail contact -



To whom were you referring to with this comment? As you started off with:

"Yet another - Ive got a AMD tri core processor fanboi rant.. "

I guess you know yourself better then we do, and you sure dont know anything about any of us.


"im being factual"

fact: my 720be unlocked the 4th core no problem! As well it overclocks to 3.5ghz prime stable with STOCK VOLTS and the STOCK flimsy x3 HS and fan.

That makes MY 720 better then any q6600 you every owned, performance and do we actually need to bring up that i only payed $135 shipped!

Now i do admit without a problem that the 720 isnt the best processor by no means, I know i got lucky, darn lucky. The 720 is arguably the best deal in that price range, arguable. But I know I GOT THE BEST CPU FOR THE MONEY i spent, nothing comes close other than a 720 which unlocks stable like mine, And i doubt many of them will overclock 3.5 on stock volts. I dont agree with the OP but there is a reason for ppl to rave over their 720, Very few people take their time out of their day just to try and take the joy from others who are just happy with something they have. Very few. I am sorry you thought it was necessary but i promise it will not improve your life, not one bit, to destroy peoples joy with YOUR UNHAPPINESS, its sad but i do forgive you
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May 14, 2009 10:49:58 PM

this is the dumbest thread ever. OP = failure.
May 14, 2009 10:59:20 PM

+1, its pretty dumb
a b à CPUs
June 4, 2009 7:27:35 PM

ocre said:
1935715,36,140628 said:



should be marked as a legend in the computing world and im not being a fanboi / boy what ever spotty kids prefer with no or little femail contact -



To whom were you referring to with this comment? As you started off with:

"Yet another - Ive got a AMD tri core processor fanboi rant.. "

I guess you know yourself better then we do, and you sure dont know anything about any of us.


"im being factual"

fact: my 720be unlocked the 4th core no problem! As well it overclocks to 3.5ghz prime stable with STOCK VOLTS and the STOCK flimsy x3 HS and fan.

That makes MY 720 better then any q6600 you every owned, performance and do we actually need to bring up that i only payed $135 shipped!

Now i do admit without a problem that the 720 isnt the best processor by no means, I know i got lucky, darn lucky. The 720 is arguably the best deal in that price range, arguable. But I know I GOT THE BEST CPU FOR THE MONEY i spent, nothing comes close other than a 720 which unlocks stable like mine, And i doubt many of them will overclock 3.5 on stock volts. I dont agree with the OP but there is a reason for ppl to rave over their 720, Very few people take their time out of their day just to try and take the joy from others who are just happy with something they have. Very few. I am sorry you thought it was necessary but i promise it will not improve your life, not one bit, to destroy peoples joy with YOUR UNHAPPINESS, its sad but i do forgive you
said:


MY UNHAPPYNESS..

hang on - in the whole spectrum of things if someone is short sighted to see if their processor is the best one ever with out taking other cpus in to consideration then youll understand where im comming from..

Its good to see someone get enthusiastic about some thing... Im enthusiatic about Vulcan Bomers for example but I dont think there better than a B2.

Im enjoyed my A64 so much that i didnt see much point in changing it for over 3 and half years and thats a long time for me to have one chip.
I still have it abiet in my daughters bedroom. I chose the q6600 because the price has been right from the start and overclocks easy.

But one thing that does get my goat is when someone gets a chip and announce its the best with out doing the homework.

AMD deserve to do well in what ever they do as long as they dont keep renaming ATI videocards AMD..

June 4, 2009 7:57:48 PM

loneninja said:
Personally I'd rather just buy a quad knowing I'll get a quad than purchase an X3 hoping to get a quad. Besides that fact I already own 780G motherboards so I can't unlock the hidden core even if I got a cpu capable of it.


especially considering the prices. a Q9550 for $330 was a good enough deal in October 2008.

but the Phenom 2 X3 720 is a good chip, definitely. will it end up in the same league OC'ing wise as the Celeron 300 & the Core i7 920 ?
August 21, 2009 8:27:25 AM

Unlocking 4th core successful or not is depends on how bad the core no 4 affected during whole wafer fabrication process. It is disabled definately not because they cannot sell it but the actual performance of core no 4 not meeting the spec or fail to run at all.
There are too many parameter need to test and anyone fail to meet will be disabled. For Intel, they may just scrap the chip and thus you won't see TriCore available.

If you received a chip that is fail to run, then definately you cannot unlock core no 4.

Anyway, the 720 BE is a great CPU running under DDR3 RAM. Vista running with this combination is so smooth on click.
Install this unit for friend, definately will consider this processor when do it for myself. Cost vs Performance, I think this is 1 of the best combination.
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August 22, 2009 3:29:44 AM

the 720be is the best cpu ever for budget gamers and enthusiasts, many would find it too little or too much, but at that price, who can argue?
October 6, 2009 10:31:40 AM

Just a little FYI - It's 10 06 2009 and the 720 BEs can still be unlocked. I'm actually using the older ASRock 780GMH with the SB710 on a chip that is just a few weeks old. The fab dates mean nothing.

Although I do not agree with the OP, as this is more or less their personal perspective. Processors come and go; newer releases with higher specs and improvements in technology pretty much ensure "best ever" will never be possible, as it's not sustainable. It can be a winner for a while with some awesome enthusiast attraction, but this is what warms AMD to the hearts of enthusiasts. Take a look at the 550 BE. That is an $80 dual core chip with the potential to unlock all 4 cores and the stock speed is 3.1 GHz. I'd say that is a pretty good value as well - better in fact, if you have success unlocking it. It's my belief that core unlocks stand closer to a 50/50 chance, but just like 92% of all statistics on the internet - I made that up on the spot.

It comes down to perspective, money, and motivation. It's a similar phenomenon with the ATI 3200/3300 HD onboard video chipsets. You can near double the clock speed to 950. So you have a good budget gamer or a good number cruncher with either the 720 or 550 on an ACC board with the HD3X00 video. $160 or less. I'd say that makes it a fantastic option for the budget minded. Better? Better than what? Better for what? It's an opinion based on personal choice and needs. I use one system for everything and I'll be using a potentially unlocked 550 (when I get it) for compiling Linux. They worked great for me. I also may end up with 2 quad core systems for the price of one.
October 30, 2009 7:10:28 PM

Congrates on the 4th core. I have the 720 BE and unlocked the 4th core first day. I am going to over clock it to 3.2 and wanted to know what settings you changed for the overclock? Also I am using factory hsf, will this cause an issue? Thanks
November 24, 2009 2:28:41 AM

WEll I saw this today and let me tell you. I couldnt unlock the 4th core but right now I have it at 3.5 just by raising the multiplir and a tiny voltage increase.
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November 24, 2009 12:22:38 PM

Great deal, good performer... Yes..

Quote:

OMFG Best CPU EVARR!!!!11 ??

No Damnit its just a freaking quad with a disabled core... Relax ;) 
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November 24, 2009 1:01:39 PM

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